Stars aligned for possible climate bill action Thursday

Boston Statehouse

Wind turbines are seen on a dike near Urk, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. A group of scientists, including five Nobel laureates, called Friday for more action to adapt the world to the effects of climate change, drawing comparisons with the faltering response to the coronavirus crisis, ahead of a major online conference on climate adaptation starting Monday and hosted by the Netherlands. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

BOSTON (SHNS) – The House and Senate could Thursday to resend Gov. Charlie Baker a climate change bill designed to push Massachusetts toward net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, according to one senior State House official.

The House and Senate both have formal sessions planned for Thursday, when the climate bill that was refiled last week in the Senate by Sen. Michael Barrett and Rep. Thomas Golden could come up for a vote.

“That appears to be the plan,” texted one House official who has worked on the climate issue in the past. House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka have both said they want to quickly pass the same bill that Baker vetoed after the end of the last two-year session.

That bill would require Massachusetts to go carbon neutral by 2050, but would allow for changes to local building codes that Baker worries will stymie housing construction. The governor also laid out other concerns with an additional offshore wind procurement and the lack of funding for climate resiliency projects, and has expressed his desire to work with lawmakers on amendments.

“I don’t accept the false choice between equitable economic prosperity and tackling the climate change needs of our planet,” Spilka said in a interview that aired Sunday on WCVB.

The Senate plans to meet in a formal session on Thursday, and the House laid out plans for the week that include an informal session Wednesday and a formal on Thursday.

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